611: Vulnerable Yearly Recap, Looking Ahead to Next Year and Answering Questions

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Click here to read my affiliate policy.

Vulnerable Yearly Recap, Looking Ahead to Next Year and Answering Questions
Wellness Mama » Episode » 611: Vulnerable Yearly Recap, Looking Ahead to Next Year and Answering Questions
The Wellness Mama Podcast
The Wellness Mama Podcast
611: Vulnerable Yearly Recap, Looking Ahead to Next Year and Answering Questions
Loading
/

Whew, what a year! The past 12 months have been challenging in unexpected ways, but I’ve grown so much through them. It’s also been a year full of beautiful lessons and time spent developing my relationship with my kids. I’ve felt like I’ve been in a cocoon this past year, putting travel on hold and enjoying being at home with my family.

In this episode, I’ll talk about general life updates, what I’ve been working on behind the scenes, and what my top health focuses were. I’ll also get into some upcoming changes to Wellness Mama and what you can expect for the new year. I have some exciting projects upcoming and I can’t wait to share them with you!

I hope you’ll join me for a time of reflection, insight, and a look to the year ahead!

Episode Highlights With Katie

  • The beautiful lessons I’ve learned this year and how it was a year of rest and relationships
  • My focus for this past year: to be with my kids and focus on them, inner work, and diving into house projects that required new skills (and lots of power tools!)
  • Why I now feel ready to step into new projects and new energy
  • An update on my Health and how it is better than it has ever been
  • What health goals I’ve been focusing on: healthy blood sugar numbers, eating to nourish my body, Hashimoto’s remains in remission
  • The biggest factors impacting my health: dealing with stress, sleep first, recovery and nourishing body, and then eventually adding in exercise
  • 2022 was the year of strength and 2023 will be a year of peace and joy
  • Hit my yearly reading benchmark and read 50 books
  • How art, meditation, and journaling impacted me
  • Inner work that I did: faced some of my perfectionist, people pleasing tendencies, learned more about boundaries and showing up with kindness without compromising my own needs
  • Why I don’t focus on New Year’s resolutions, but on challenges and experiments instead
  • How mindset plays such a big role in health, habits, and more
  • Q&A from all the questions you submitted

Resources Mentioned

More From Wellness Mama

Read Transcript

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

This podcast is sponsored by Wellnesse… that’s wellness with an e on the end, my new personal care line of haircare, oral care and deodorant. Our newest product that I’m so excited about is our all-natural deodorant that works better than conventional alternatives, without the harmful chemicals or pore-clogging junk. Unlike many natural brands, it uses the right balance of natural odor blockers so that you get the protection you want without any irritation or itching. Formulated with only EWG safe ingredients and EWG and B-corp certified, it’s a safe, natural and effective solution for the whole family. Check out these and all of our amazing products at wellnesse.com

This episode is brought to you by Timeline Nutrition. We’ve all heard of probiotics and probably also prebiotics but have you heard of postbiotics? There are several major reasons these are important and thanks to emerging research, I’ve been experimenting with them. We know that maintaining muscle mass as we get older is critically important to longevity and enduring good health. In fact, it is one of the biggest predictors of longevity and one of the reasons I lift weights regularly and keep an eye on metrics like grip strength. Postbiotics are the active nutrients your body makes during digestion, and they are an emerging driver of this for a couple of reasons. One major reason is that certain postbiotics support mitophagy or the flushing out of old damaged mitochondria, which is really critical in the aging equation. The best compound I’ve found to support this is called Urolithin A and I was super intrigued when I found it. It’s derived from pomegranate but it’s very hard, practically impossible, to eat or drink enough pomegranate to get the scientifically proven therapeutic dose.

Urolithin A is one of the first postbiotics shown to have major health benefits and has become available to all of us. It upgrades your body’s cellular power grid – giving your body the energy it needs to optimize. And clinical studies have shown that 500mg of Urolithin A alone significantly increases muscle strength and endurance with no other change in lifestyle.
This is where a product called Mitopure from Timeline Nutrition comes in. They’ve created 3 ways to get your daily 500mg dose of Urolithin A in their product called Mitopure. They’ve got a delicious vanilla protein powder that combines muscle building protein with the cellular energy of Mitopure. They have a berry powder that easily mixes into smoothies or just about any drink. And finally soft gels for travel or you can use them everyday if you prefer. Personally, I love the starter pack that lets you try all three forms and see which one you like the most. Mitopure is the first product to offer a precise dose of Urolithin A to upgrade mitochondria function, increase cellular energy and improve muscle strength and endurance. Right now, Timeline is offering 10% off your first order of Mitopure. Go to timelinenutrition.com/WELLNESSMAMA and use code WELLNESSMAMA to get 10% off your order.

Katie: Hello, and welcome to the last episode of the year, of the “Wellness Mama Podcast”. I’m Katie, from wellnessmama.com. And this episode will be a solo episode that answers questions I have gotten from you guys on social media or via email, as well as requested, yearly recap, and looking forward to next year, and challenges and experiments that I’ll be doing. As well as just some general updates, and kind of 80-20 of my top health things of this year.
So, as a quick recap, before we jump into more specific stuff, a lot of you asked about my personal life, and how things were going, and various questions around that. And so I’ll provide a little bit of an update there. In general, it’s been a pretty tough year actually, but also one filled with so many beautiful lessons and a lot of growth, especially in my relationships with my kids. And it also marks the end of a relationship for me, but the beginning of, I think, a new chapter, and like I said, really some growth in my relationships with my kids. And a lot of time with them this year, I put most travel on hold. And my main focus this year was being home with the kids and working on those relationships.
And of course, as kids always do, they have all gotten older this year. I have a driver in the house now, which has been really amazing to see. And it’s been awesome to watch their progress in pursuing their own interests and passions, and in starting their own businesses, which I’ve talked about being a focus for us with the kids, and just seeing how they’ve grown in all those different areas. A lot of them are still pole vaulting. But they’ve also this year, various ones have pursued things like tennis and other things. They also do Junior Lifeguard every year. So they’ve been really getting to dive into their own passions.
On a personal level, I felt like this year was a year of cocooning for me. And that it was a year of rest and recentering. And I really didn’t… Like I said, I spent a lot of time at home. And I really felt, kind of metaphorically, like I was in a cocoon this year. And I’ve been really excited in the last month or so to feel sort of renewed creative energy, and renewed motivation to step into new projects, and a lot of new energy around that. So that’ll be a lot of my focus for next year, that I will explain more in a little while.
Also this year, it’s been really fun to see, possibly in large part because of the focus on recovering, cocooning, that my health is better than it’s ever been. From the things that I track, my blood sugar, for instance, I occasionally monitor with a continuous glucose monitor, and my fasting blood glucose is about 73 to 75 pretty much every day. And I’ve now gotten to a point where even with eating carbohydrates, I don’t see any big spikes throughout the day. I very rarely see a food spike over 100. And I’m really focused on eating to nourish my body, which has been a big shift I’ve talked about on this podcast before. But I’ve really, I think, finally broken free of the dieting mindset that I didn’t even realize was so prevalent. And this year, has not been at all about restriction. And it’s really been focused on nourishing my body. I have talked about on here, including in my interview with Chris Kresser, about the nutrient density of food, and about really focusing on that over even the macros of food. So right now, I track using MyFitnessPal, mostly to make sure I’m eating enough. And also just to make sure I’m getting a variety of foods, so that I’m getting enough micronutrients.
And I have been supplementing in a cyclical way. I’ll explain more about that later on in this episode. But the overall main focus in health for me this year, has been really just nourishing my body. And this has led to also some of the best labs I’ve ever seen for myself. So my Hashimoto’s is completely in remission. Those numbers have been phenomenal this year. And all of my other numbers are not just in normal range, but in optimal range. And I think the mindset of focusing on the positive and moving all of those things, including eating enough food, in a positive direction, have been really, really helpful. Over this past year, I also think it was really important to focus on and deal with stress, and sleep, and recovery. I think often, when it comes to health, it can be tempting to want to do more, and add things in, and take more supplements, or add in more exercise. And I’ve really seen, in my own life, how important dealing with stress and really optimizing sleep are, and how those move the needle in all of those other areas as well.
So, during my intensive healing phase couple of years ago, I was almost entirely focused on recovery. And sleep was my thing that I really tracked and looked at most each day. And I did not do, during the out phase, any intense exercise, or anything that the body could interpret as additional stress. So I just did gentle things like walking, or occasionally yoga, but really just focused on recovery. And this past year, now that I’m seeing those lab numbers in a really good place with stress levels, I have started adding in more resistance training and strength training. And that’s been a lot of my journey over the last year for strength.
So I kind of call 2022 the year of strength. And I’ll talk about this more later in the episode as well. But 2023 is going to be, for me, the year of more explosive movements like jumping and running, because I’ve built that foundational strength, but I haven’t yet figured out how to translate that into getting a lot faster, or being able to jump higher. But since having kids, I don’t know if you’ve had this experience, but I feel like my vestibular system changed, and I don’t like being off the ground. So that’s one of the things I’m planning to tackle this coming year.
I, also last year, in the recap, talked about my yearly reading benchmark, which I was able to hit this year. My goal is to read about 50 books a year, or sometimes a little more. I also got to do some fun experiments and get better at some skills, like solving Rubik’s cubes with my kids. I tackled a lot of DIY projects around my house, fixed things that were broken. I got a lot better with power tools, which for a long time were scary. And now I love being able to just pull out the tools and fix things, or build things.
I did a lot of art this year. I feel like art can be really therapeutic if you enjoy art. And spending time drawing and painting was a really fun outlet for me. I also fell in love with meditation in a different way, and finally found forms of that that I was able to consistently implement. And I got better at journaling, which I think both of those are just helpful for the stress side of the equation and for processing inner things. And then like I mentioned on the physical level, I really challenged myself with the strength side this year. And I found out that I was a lot stronger than I thought I was. And it’s been really fun to see the strength growth from the beginning of the year until now.
And I mentioned I was mostly at home. I did travel a little, but mostly just spent time with the kids. And then I think I had two work trips throughout the year. And I’m debating if I want to add any travel back in in 2023. But I’m really actually enjoying my kids’ ages and enjoying being home with them. So it’s hard to want to travel right now. And then on a personal level, I spent time this year doing a lot of inner work around some tendencies. I realized I had the kind of perfectionist tendencies and people-pleasing tendencies that I learned went back to some instances in childhood, and just patterns that I had developed. And I learned a lot more about boundaries, and showing up with kindness without compromising my own needs. And I’m still definitely on that journey. But it’s something I really hope to model for my kids. And I think it’s a thing that can be difficult to really dial in as a mom, because we’re so wired to want to make sure everyone else is okay. And this was especially true for me. So I still have, of course, much work to do in this area. But I feel like I began that journey this year.
My words of the year for 2023, and I will link in the show notes to a word of the year generator, if you want it to generate some random suggestions for you. But for me, I’m going to be focusing on the words, peace and joy. I feel like in the past, a lot of years, I’ve had words that were very sort of like type A and focused on an outcome. And this year, I want to focus more on the inner state and the inner side of that. And so, for me, peace and joy resonated the most. And so I’m going to be really nurturing this with a focus on meditation and creating quiet. I had Susan Cain on the podcast this past year about her new book, “Bittersweet.” But her first book, “Quiet,” which talks about the power of introverts in an increasingly busy world, was really influential for me. And I’ve realized that I need to, especially with six kids who are all getting older, and our lives being pretty busy. I need to nurture time in the quiet. The quotes abound about the importance of time alone, and time and quiet to sit with ourselves. And I think for moms especially, this is something we have to be pretty proactive about. Because it doesn’t just tend to happen. And also in learning ways to nurture peace and joy, I’m going to be doing Tim Ferriss’s year-in-review process, which I will link to his post explaining what that is.
But a short version is that you go through your calendar and to do lists for the past year. And you make a list of positive and negative things, experiences and things that caused joy and happiness, and also things that tended to cause stress, or, you know, emotions you may not want. And then with that list, kind of 80-20’ing it, and finding the things that create the most stress for you, and also finding the things that create the most joy for you, and trying to figure out how to intentionally get on the calendar more of the things that increase joy and happiness. So that’s a process I’m doing this week in preparation of the new year, and one that I’ve found really helpful in the past. If you haven’t tried that one, like I said, I will link to it. And I really encourage you to just give it a try and see if it’s helpful for you as well.
And you may have heard in the past that I tend to do challenges and experiments, and I’ll explain more why I do that instead of goals and resolutions in a few minutes. But I have found it really fun to have monthly or every couple months, a new challenge or skill to tackle. There’s something in that process of learning something new that is not only great for the brain, but for me, it seems to give me some renewed creativity and energy as well.
So I’m still working on my list for 2023. But a few things that have made the list so far are, a few new styles of art that I want to experiment with, some kind of dance classes, because that will be my scary thing for the year. If you’ve listened for a while, you know that every year I try to do one thing that scares me, which has led to learning how to do stand-up comedy. This has led to voice lessons. This has led to even silly things like working out in gyms used to feel very scary. And so, for me this year, that’s going to be dancing, which still feels absolutely terrifying. I’m also going to start playing around with piano again, for the first time in 20 years. This was something I did as a child, and then pretty much walked away from entirely. I had a stressful teacher who liked to sort of, like, hit our hands if we didn’t do well. And it just sort of turned me off to piano for a long time. But now that my kids are learning, and there’s always the sound of music in the house, I thought this would be something fun to start to play around with and experiment with again.
Another challenge for me will be making my kitchen more functional. There are some pieces of it that have just entirely worn out or that are falling apart. And so, I want to update the kitchen, but do it in an eco-friendly way, and DIY as much as possible. Because like I said, I’ve really been enjoying learning how to do a lot of that stuff myself. I’m also focusing a lot on gardening. And so I’ve got some new types of gardening that I’m integrating as monthly challenges in the spring especially, and I’ve been working, and had help working lately on our garden area, and making it as efficient and functional as possible. And that’s also a really fun project to get the kids involved in. I know many of you already garden, but if you don’t, especially with how much food prices are on the rise, I would really encourage you to try to figure out a way that you can produce even a small amount of your own food. I think not only is this helpful from a money saving perspective, but I’ve written before about all the benefits of gardening from the time outside, which has a host of benefits. To interacting with the microbiome in the soil, which some studies show could actually be good for the immune system, and is especially great for kids. To the vitamin D we get from the sunlight. To just the time in nature in general. Not to mention food is typically healthier.
And I’ve had interviews like Dr. Jack Kruse, who talk about things like light being one of the most important factors in health, potentially even more so than food or exercise. And so, the more we can spend time outside, we can help optimize that factor. As well as the importance of whenever possible, eating food that was grown in at least our latitude that we live in, but also is ideally as close to home as possible. And the many benefits of that. So, if you don’t already garden, I hope that you maybe will consider doing that in some form. And if you do, I’d love to hear what you’re doing and any tips that you have.
And then lastly, I don’t have concrete plans for this yet, but I am considering the idea of a silent retreat. I have found one through a friend and I believe it’s a five-day silent darkness retreat. And I’ve heard that this is one of the more challenging types of retreats to do. And I’ll admit that as a mom, while friends I know who are not parents have gone on this, and said it was so hard and that it was excruciating to be alone in the quiet that long. I anticipate that as a mom, at least those first couple days might feel pretty blissful. Because quiet, like I said, is something I don’t get much of in my life. And I will link to the place that I’m considering in the show notes as well, in case any of you guys are also interested in checking it out. But that is the one travel I’m considering sort of for just personal growth.
You guys also asked about my health targets and experiments for next year. And I briefly recapped my 2022 metrics around that, but I’m really excited to jump into some new things in 2023. My focus, like I said, is going to be on speed and jumping. Because in 2022, I got a lot stronger. And I want to experiment with translating that into getting faster, and to things like box jumps. And it sounds silly, but for some reason, since having kids, the being off the ground and especially jumping, seems a lot more difficult than it should be. Just it’s a mental thing. It’s not that it’s physically difficult, it’s that a 20-inch box jump feels scary. Like, I think I’m relearning my vestibular association with time and space. And I’m excited to delve into that. I’m also kind of combing through and looking at what’s called a 1 X 20 Program, which I will link to as well. I found out about this through Erik Korem, who I had on the podcast, and I highly recommend his episode. And he mentioned this as something he learned from someone named Chris McCormick, who I can link to on Instagram. Or you can listen to his, “The Blueprint,” podcast which talks about this. But it’s a specific method of training that’s pretty unique and that I have not tried, of doing 20 reps of an exercise, and doing a lot of different exercises, rather than doing a larger number of sets and reps. And like I said, I’ll link to some things in case you want to read more about that.
I also got a reader question about top supplements and rituals I couldn’t live without. And I think it would be good to put under the health targets and experiments umbrella. And with the caveat that I am definitely not even close to perfect with these all the time, and the caveat that there of course in health is a tremendous amount of personalization and individualization. And so, while I hope these can be a good springboard for research for you, I have learned over the years, the hard way, that applying someone else’s programming, what worked for them, will not necessarily yield the same results for us. And so, I think we can learn something from everybody else’s journey, but at the end of the day, the responsibility is ours to figure out what’s going to work for us. So, with those important caveats before we begin, the rituals I consider the most important and try to consistently do as much as possible are things like getting morning sunlight. Which thankfully, I think this has finally actually hit sort of mainstream awareness. Huberman has talked about this on his podcast various times in the past year. I see this now circulating on Instagram as a health tip often. But I love this one because it doesn’t cost anything, it requires very minimal effort. And it can make such a big difference.
And it’s incredibly simple. Simple means, as soon as possible, after waking up, assuming that the sun is already up, that we go outside and get natural light. And it is important to be outside, even on a cloudy day, because certain parts of light don’t go through windows. So we’re not getting the same effect indoors. And indoor lighting is not nearly as intense and doesn’t have the wide spectrum of light that outdoor light does. And the reason this is so important is that it kind of starts the clock for our circadian rhythm. And while it may be tough to see the connection, morning sunlight is actually one of the best things we can do for sleeping better at night. Like I said, this one’s free and almost no effort. And so the metric I try to hit is just being outside for about 15 minutes in the morning, whenever possible. And this is one that’s also great to do if you have kids, because it contributes to the cortisol, melatonin rhythms throughout the day. So when we do this consistently, it helps really dial in that sleep time. And I’ve seen a difference in deep sleep, especially, when I’m really consistent with this. Also a ritual I put top of the list now is strength training. And I’ve had quite a few podcasts about this in the past year, and about my own journey with it. But my encouragement to other women over the past year has largely been to make sure we’re nourishing our bodies enough, that we’re getting enough protein, because many women are not. And then to add in strength training.
And I highly recommend my episodes with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, if you haven’t listened to them. She does a great job of explaining the dietary need for protein, and why it is the most, in her opinion, important macronutrient. But she also talks about a concept called muscle-centric medicine, with the idea that for most people, it’s not that we have too much body fat, it’s that we are under-muscled. We don’t have enough muscle. And we do know, very consistently from the data, that lean muscle mass, having enough skeletal muscle is one of the factors that correlates very strongly with longevity. And inversely of that, like, the lower our muscle tone, the higher our risk of dying from all causes. Even things like, you know, falling becomes a big risk as we age, and those with more muscle tone are much more likely to have less damage even if they fall, than those with less muscle. And so as I get older, this is something I’ve really been focused on. And I loved challenging myself in this, because while all movement is good, and I think movement is one of the most important things we can do, all movement is also not created equal. And so, for me, I really try to focus on strength training with some kind of progression. Which means either going up in the amount of weight, the number of reps, the number of sets, and also cycling through different types of movements within each of those.
And I’ve been personally focusing on bigger movements like squats and deadlifts, split squats, even things like leg press for the first time this year, RDLs, Bulgarian split squats, which I have a very much love hate relationship with. And I’ll be adding in a lot of new ones next year, as well as trying to work on my upper body strength. Because I feel like lower body has always been just more naturally strong for me, and I struggle more with upper body strength. So I’m trying to really improve that this year as well. But I noticed consistently that when I strength train, usually for me about three or four times a week, while I may be tired and need to recover after that workout, I overall feel better across the board.
Another non-negotiable for me is eating enough protein, which I’ve already talked about a couple times, even in this episode, and many times throughout the past year on the podcast. But I keep talking about it because it was such a game changer for me. When I actually started tracking, I realized that I had been under-eating protein for a long, long, long time. And eating enough food and really nourishing my body, and especially hitting my protein targets, I think was one of the big factors in signaling to my body that it was safe, and it didn’t need to be in sympathetic mode all the time. And that it could rest and recover, and it could stop being stressed. Which that’s a very important factor when it comes to, not just losing weight, but dealing with stress levels in general.
And so, now, like I said, it’s non-negotiable for me to make sure I’m nourishing my body and really getting enough food, and especially protein. And as a metric, I’ll also say, I went from when I started tracking, some days eating only like 800 calories because I was so busy and just wasn’t hungry and didn’t think about food, to now eating 2400 or sometimes even more calories per day. And I have gotten leaner through that process. So, I think that’s really exciting encouragement, because often we think we have to eat less to lose weight. And I think if we are focused on our metabolism and on nourishing our body, often the opposite can be true. And I hit these protein targets through whole foods, through protein powders, occasionally. And I also add in aminos and creatine, which I’ll talk more about when I talk about supplements later.
Another non-negotiable for me is hydration and making sure I’m getting enough electrolytes. That seems like another area that is pretty minimal effort, but many of us just don’t consistently dial in. And I know this was true of me as well. And I see a difference in my sleep numbers if I’m well hydrated, in my recovery.
And also just logically the body has majority water. And so, giving it a consistent source of hydration and electrolytes really contributes to health in so many ways. I’ve also been experimenting with and now really consistently like to do lymphatic based movements and massages. And I might do a whole episode on this, or potentially, like, a YouTube video this year. But I think this has been another thing that’s helpful in recovery and signaling to the body that it’s safe and can rest, with the idea of just moving the body in certain ways that move lymphatic around, and also doing things like lymphatic massage on different areas of the body, which has also improved my skin quite a bit.
Not surprisingly, sleep is one of my non-negotiables as well. I’ve done definitely many episodes on this, and I have many blog posts on wellnessmama.com, if you want to read some details about any of these things. But in general, I’ve narrowed this down to my sleep environment. Sleeping with blackout curtains, I have now a DockPro from ChiliSleep on my bed. I wear an Oura Ring to track my sleep so I can see what things I’m doing affect my sleep in positive or negative ways. And then I do breathing exercises before bed, most often a 4-7-8 pattern, which is breathing in for four, holding the breath for seven, and then gently exhaling for eight. And I’ll do sometimes 10 rounds of that, which really helped me get into deep sleep. And then often I will also do mouth taping, which encourages nasal breathing during sleep, which is correlated with better sleep as well.
And then lastly, regular parts of my rituals and supplements that I can’t live without. Like I said, supplements for me are a rotating list, and I think they’re very personalized. And some days I will take quite a handful of supplements, some days I take no supplements at all. But consistently, I take magnesium, different forms of choline, which are specifically just important for me because of some genes that I have. And then I’ve been experimenting with things like inositol for sleep. I experiment with different nootropics on different days, especially podcast days, adding in amino acids, and then really just tweaking from there. So I think supplements are very personalized. But that’s kind of my basic starting point.
Also, when it comes to health targets, I always like to have the conversation around New Year’s resolutions, and why I use the words, challenges and experiments, instead of goals and resolutions. And the big reason for this is that, from the statistics I’ve seen, only about 16% of people are actually able to keep resolutions over the long-term, according to…I believe that was a report in “Economic Times.” And Einstein was quoted as saying, “We cannot solve a problem on the same level of consciousness that created it.” And so, I’ve realized in hindsight that, when we set resolutions, we’re trying to change a behavior through willpower. But I found it personally much more effective to change mindset, which leads to the behavior change as a byproduct. And this isn’t to say that behavioral changes can’t also contribute to mindset shifts. But at least for me, I’ve seen that this seems to be the harder path. And it’s easier when we build behavior change through small habits and mindset work, versus trying to change our behavior with long-term willpower, which is a big use of resources, mental resources, and can lower resilience.
And so, I’ve talked about this pretty extensively on the podcast. But for me, I look back on things like extreme dieting, and trying to willpower my way into getting healthy, or into being a certain size. And what finally worked was actually changing my mindset and addressing the inner emotions that were contributing to those problems in the first place. And then the behavior changes happened as a byproduct of that, not as something I was consciously willing. I also think it’s a shift mentally into becoming a person that has those traits, and then embodies those things, versus forcing our current selves to do certain activities or not do certain activities based on willpower. If you’re like me, you might have some story around the idea of, I’ll be happy when….. That drives resolutions. And for me, this was definitely a flawed story. I had the idea I will be happy when I’m a certain size, or I will be happy when this happens. And ironically, fixing the underlying emotional triggers actually increased the chances of me getting those things that I thought were going to make me happy. But I figured out the happiness part of that equation first.
So, for example, we might have some internal upper limits to the degree of success, or love, or wealth, or kindness, or health that will allow for ourselves. And I believe this is one of the core reasons, for instance, that to use it an analogy, people who win the lottery are more likely to declare bankruptcy within three to five years than the average American. And that 70% of lottery winners end up broke. And perhaps, this is also why many people will gain back weight when they lose it, because the underlying mindset hasn’t changed. They haven’t become the person who embodies those other traits. And so, instead of resolutions and goals, which statistically we’re not likely to keep, I do challenges and experiments, including the monthly new challenges I mentioned earlier. And I do many benchmarks versus big resolutions. Because these lead to those small habit changes. And I also make sure I’m addressing the mindset piece of any of these during that process.

This episode is brought to you by Timeline Nutrition. We’ve all heard of probiotics and probably also prebiotics but have you heard of postbiotics? There are several major reasons these are important and thanks to emerging research, I’ve been experimenting with them. We know that maintaining muscle mass as we get older is critically important to longevity and enduring good health. In fact, it is one of the biggest predictors of longevity and one of the reasons I lift weights regularly and keep an eye on metrics like grip strength. Postbiotics are the active nutrients your body makes during digestion, and they are an emerging driver of this for a couple of reasons. One major reason is that certain postbiotics support mitophagy or the flushing out of old damaged mitochondria, which is really critical in the aging equation. The best compound I’ve found to support this is called Urolithin A and I was super intrigued when I found it. It’s derived from pomegranate but it’s very hard, practically impossible, to eat or drink enough pomegranate to get the scientifically proven therapeutic dose.

Urolithin A is one of the first postbiotics shown to have major health benefits and has become available to all of us. It upgrades your body’s cellular power grid – giving your body the energy it needs to optimize. And clinical studies have shown that 500mg of Urolithin A alone significantly increases muscle strength and endurance with no other change in lifestyle.
This is where a product called Mitopure from Timeline Nutrition comes in. They’ve created 3 ways to get your daily 500mg dose of Urolithin A in their product called Mitopure. They’ve got a delicious vanilla protein powder that combines muscle building protein with the cellular energy of Mitopure. They have a berry powder that easily mixes into smoothies or just about any drink. And finally soft gels for travel or you can use them everyday if you prefer. Personally, I love the starter pack that lets you try all three forms and see which one you like the most. Mitopure is the first product to offer a precise dose of Urolithin A to upgrade mitochondria function, increase cellular energy and improve muscle strength and endurance.
Right now, Timeline is offering 10% off your first order of Mitopure. Go to timelinenutrition.com/WELLNESSMAMA and use code WELLNESSMAMA to get 10% off your order.

This podcast is sponsored by Wellnesse… that’s wellness with an e on the end, my new personal care line of haircare, oral care and deodorant. Our newest product that I’m so excited about is our all-natural deodorant that works better than conventional alternatives, without the harmful chemicals or pore-clogging junk. Unlike many natural brands, it uses the right balance of natural odor blockers so that you get the protection you want without any irritation or itching. Formulated with only EWG safe ingredients and EWG and B-corp certified, it’s a safe, natural and effective solution for the whole family. Check out these and all of our amazing products at wellnesse.com.

Another note related to the health side that I just think is a really important conversation for women, and one that I learned the hard way, personally was that I looked for a lot of years at weight as the metric. And I think there’s a whole lot of psychology that goes into this, and more than I can cover in the scope of one podcast.
But I found, for me, it was a much more positive metric to focus on the mindset side, and how I was feeling. And if I was going to track metrics, track metrics like eating enough, like my size in inches, and in strength versus weight. Because, at least for me, and I think for a lot of women, we can fluctuate so much day to day, throughout the course of the month with our cycle. And there’s lots of factors that come into play there. And it’s just not a very valuable metric compared to the others because I’m sure you’ve seen those pictures online, of someone who was the same weight in two different pictures, but had added more muscle in one picture, and their body composition is drastically different. But looking at weight alone, you wouldn’t know that difference. This is also why many professional athletes would be considered overweight or obese if we’re just looking at weight, because those tables are made with averages, and they don’t take into account that muscle weighs more than fat. And so I realized a while back that if I was weighing myself daily, I was tending to under-eat more if I saw any upward movement in the scale at all, even if that came from water weight during recovery after workout, or from hormones, or from gaining strength.
And granted, as women, we’re not likely to drastically gain muscle. I think the stat I read is that it’s tough to put on more than about one pound of muscle per month. But one pound of muscle per month times a year is actually a really impressive amount of added muscle. And so I stopped looking at weight as the metric, and tracked my strength, and movements, and different movements, and my size. And I found that without much weight change at all, I got smaller, and stronger, and leaner. But I think this is just a little bit of an example of that mindset shift that can be really helpful in shifting to a more positive, you know, sort of mindset around our bodies, and also focusing on positive metrics versus negative ones.
Also, weight alone ignores, like I said, the very important factor of lean muscle mass, which is massively correlated to health and longevity, which is a big focus for me in trying to continually increase that. And when we just look at weight, like I said, we’re not looking at that, we’re not looking at visceral fat, we’re not looking at lean muscle mass, we’re not looking at how well we move. And I think this is also kind of tied into what headlines have called the skinny fat epidemic. Where people might be a correct weight according to these tables, or not overweight, but don’t have a lot of muscle mass. And still could have, for instance, a lot of visceral fat.
And I’ve talked about this before as well. But I went through this sort of, I want to be small and skinny phase a couple of years ago, especially when I had dealt with trauma and was dropping weight pretty rapidly. And I’ve shared the story with how I noticed how this was impacting my daughters, and how they had words around wanting to be smaller as well. And so I very consciously tried to shift my mindset around this to being stronger and being healthier. And I’ve seen them start making those changes as well. But I also think when we’re just focused on weight, this can lead to under-nourishing, which I’ve already mentioned a couple times on this podcast. But I think it bears repeating because we’ve heard it said, that at least in America, we’re very often overfed and undernourished. But if we’re only looking at weight, it can be very tempting to want to eat less, or restrict, or eat low calorie, or just eat less food to hit our weight targets. But we can inadvertently end up not getting enough nutrients, which is a stress signal on the body, which can make that whole process harder in the long term. So like I said, I now focus on strength, and inches as my benchmark, I eat more than I ever have.
I did a whole period of reverse dieting over this past year, where I consciously increased how much I was eating, and sort of tracked it to make sure I was getting enough protein and enough nutrients. And now I do still track some, but mostly to help make sure I eat enough. And this is a big contrast in how I feel now, versus when I first lost weight as far as my energy levels, and just my ability to do things, lift heavy things, build things on my own. And so like I said, also for me, next year is the year of the jump, or speed and jumping, and getting faster and more explosive, which I expect to also help with body composition. But I’m also just excited about from a play perspective with my kids. I also say that as I’ve made these shifts, an unexpected result for me is that eating enough food, I would say, is now actually the hardest part of getting stronger and staying lean for me. Because when I slack on that, I will see weight fluctuations I don’t like. And when I am consistent with eating enough nutrients, and protein, and food in general, I just notice a big difference in my body composition.
I also spent some time recently looking into my mental targets and experiments for next year. And I will be sharing more of these as a journey throughout the year in podcast episodes. But many of you have asked, so I will be finally finishing Unstitute, and be first releasing an entrepreneur incubator as a standalone product that can be used for kids of any age, but especially useful for high school aged kids, or honestly for adults who are wanting to start a business on the side, or become more entrepreneurial as well. And I wanted to make this extremely accessible and affordable, and have sort of a business in a box, everything you need to understand how to start a business. And so I’m working on finishing that up.
And I’m also working on finishing a parenting and mindset book, which will actually encompass a lot of the philosophy about homeschooling as well, but that will be available before the full program of Unstitute. And I think this is hopefully something that will help a lot of other families. Because these are things that I’ve worked out over the course of the last 15 years, that have made the biggest difference for our family.
I’m also setting a goal to read 50-plus books again. And I would love any suggestions you guys have. I ask this on every single podcast of my guest, about which book or books have had the biggest impact on their life and why. And I use that as a starting point for a lot of my reading list. I’ve also been compiling these, and I will publish that extremely long list pretty soon. But I would love if you guys would reply or DM me on Instagram, let me know any book suggestions you have.
On a family level, some targets and experiments for the next year. Like I said, we’re going to be tackling some house projects as much as we can, by doing them ourselves and building things. And then the kids will often join me in my monthly challenges of learning new skills and doing things like that. And then we also are making a focus around more play and more outside time. And for the science behind this, check out the episode I mentioned with Dr. Jack Krusse, about the importance of light, and how it’s so especially important for kids. But I really do believe, as a parent, that the more time our kids can spend outside and playing, and that we as adults can do that, too, in general, the happier everyone tends to be.
And now I want to just go through some quick Q&A. I got a lot of questions from you guys over Instagram and email. And so I’m going to tackle some of the more common ones here. And then I also will be integrating in the new year, so starting next week, short, mini episodes each week. So there’ll be the two normal episodes, plus a shorter 15 to 20-minute episode, that will be sort of all the key takeaways and important points to know about one single thing. So whether it’s about magnesium, sauna use, certain types of exercise, whatever it may be. That way you have mini bite-sized episodes, that can give you sort of the 80-20 full primer of everything you need to know about something.
But here is a brief Q&A, and then we can do more of these throughout the year as well, if you guys ever want to send questions. I had a reader ask, “How do you get out laundry smells? I’ve tried everything, but don’t want to use things with scents that can be bothersome for the kids.” For me, personally, I use Branch Basics, their regular formula and their oxygen bleach. And I’ll sometimes also add baking soda or vinegar to the rinse cycle, depending on what kind of smell we’re dealing with. I sometimes also use Sal Suds, which is also a pretty powerful, concentrated cleaner, and do a couple rounds. And that has worked for me over the long term.
I had a reader ask about ingesting colloidal silver. And I do have a blog post about this. My current thought on this is that I don’t like to use colloidal silver internally. But I do find that a certain of them are great for wound care, so I keep it on hand. But it’s not something I’m encouraging my kids to drink or drinking myself daily.
I got a lot of questions about protein. And I have done whole episodes on this that I will link to. But I wanted to just share some favorite clean proteins. I also did a newsletter about this recently. And if you’re not on my email list, I do send a lot of tips and answer questions there as well. And you can sign up for that on the website. But some of my clean proteins, since I’m still avoiding eggs, I like ICONIC and Paleovalley as protein powder choices, because they have grass-fed whey protein. But I also have been adding in creatine monohydrate and the aminos powder from Kion, which is a broad spectrum aminos powder that also includes leucine, which is really helpful for protein synthesis, and for recovery. And so I often take that first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, and right before bed on an empty stomach. One easy way that I help get enough protein is to make a smoothie for breakfast with those types of protein and fruit. And I try to eat three or four meals a day that are high in protein to support my workouts and recovery. So, I’ll have that smoothie for breakfast, a couple of meals the rest of the day. So it might be one or two meals around, like, lunchtime, midafternoon, and then dinner or just lunch and dinner.
I had someone ask about nontoxic furniture. And unfortunately, this is an area where there’s still not a lot of great options that I found. If you’ve found any, please let me know in the comments. But there’s not a lot of regulation here. It’s hard. Unlike mattresses, which now have certifications you can look for, there’s not as much of that happening in furniture. So my solution to this has been either buying secondhand and refinishing with nontoxic products, or building myself, or buying unfinished and staining or painting myself with nontoxic products.
I had a reader ask about Christmas traditions in our family, and I’d love to hear any in your family as well. The big ones for us are that we put out boots for St. Nicholas Day, which is on December 6th. And the kids get typically oranges and maybe a small treat in those. We also do stockings on Christmas, which was a tradition in my family growing up, and that we’ve carried on. And we do Christmas brunch in our pajamas. We do a Christmas movie, typically on either Christmas Eve, or the kids like watching…I think their favorite is “Christmas Story” on Christmas Day. But really, just the focus is the only time we don’t have any particular foods other than on Christmas Eve, we still do the Sicilian Feast of the Seven Fishes. So I’ll make often a seafood bisque that has several different types of fish, which goes back to a family tradition on their dad’s side. But I’d love to hear about your Christmas traditions as well.
And then I’ve incorporated a lot of the other questions that people asked into this episode itself. But I’m always happy to answer questions. I can even answer them personally on Instagram. I will try to do more Q&As on Instagram to answer questions more regularly. And I also am going to start making videos regularly in 2023, that explain a lot of this content for people who prefer video content. I will try to share those in short version on Instagram and on TikTok, as well as longer versions on YouTube. But if you have anything in particular you want me to answer, or topics you’d like to see covered in a future podcast episode, I always really value questions and feedback from you guys. And I’m always happy to hear those and to listen. So, feel free to reach out via email or Instagram at any time with questions, or to leave a comment on this podcast, and the blog post. And I will make sure to include those as well.
And also lastly, a quick ask, if you would be willing to take just a minute or two, and to leave an honest rating or review on whatever app you listen to this podcast on. I would be so grateful, that would be such a fun, Christmas gift for me personally. And it helps other people to find this podcast as well. And it’s been absolutely amazing. And I’m so grateful for this incredible community, for all of you. And it makes me so excited that this community continues to grow. Because I think, to the degree that moms and parents care about these topics and implement them in our own families and in our own lives, that we will see the biggest and most dramatic societal shifts. So I don’t take it lightly that I get to speak to you guys every week, that I get to have conversations with such incredible experts and guests, and to share those with you. And I especially don’t take lightly that you guys are here and invested in your health and the health of your families.
And as we wrap up this year, I also just am very, very grateful and even overwhelmed sometimes when I think about that. And I’m just so grateful for your time. I know I say this every single episode, and I mean it every single time, that I’m always grateful for you sharing the most valuable things you have, which are your time, your energy, and your attention with me. I am so grateful that you do. I’m so grateful that you’re here. And I would love to hear from you.
And I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season with your family. And I wish you a very, very Happy New Year’s Eve and New Year’s, and would love to hear your plans for the next year as well. So thanks for listening. Thanks for being here. And I hope that you will see me again on the next episode of the “Wellness Mama” Podcast.
If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

This podcast is sponsored by Wellnesse… that’s wellness with an e on the end, my new personal care line of haircare, oral care and deodorant. Our newest product that I’m so excited about is our all-natural deodorant that works better than conventional alternatives, without the harmful chemicals or pore-clogging junk. Unlike many natural brands, it uses the right balance of natural odor blockers so that you get the protection you want without any irritation or itching. Formulated with only EWG safe ingredients and EWG and B-corp certified, it’s a safe, natural and effective solution for the whole family. Check out these and all of our amazing products at wellnesse.com.

This episode is brought to you by Timeline Nutrition. We’ve all heard of probiotics and probably also prebiotics but have you heard of postbiotics? There are several major reasons these are important and thanks to emerging research, I’ve been experimenting with them. We know that maintaining muscle mass as we get older is critically important to longevity and enduring good health. In fact, it is one of the biggest predictors of longevity and one of the reasons I lift weights regularly and keep an eye on metrics like grip strength. Postbiotics are the active nutrients your body makes during digestion, and they are an emerging driver of this for a couple of reasons. One major reason is that certain postbiotics support mitophagy or the flushing out of old damaged mitochondria, which is really critical in the aging equation. The best compound I’ve found to support this is called Urolithin A and I was super intrigued when I found it. It’s derived from pomegranate but it’s very hard, practically impossible, to eat or drink enough pomegranate to get the scientifically proven therapeutic dose.

Urolithin A is one of the first postbiotics shown to have major health benefits and has become available to all of us. It upgrades your body’s cellular power grid – giving your body the energy it needs to optimize. And clinical studies have shown that 500mg of Urolithin A alone significantly increases muscle strength and endurance with no other change in lifestyle.
This is where a product called Mitopure from Timeline Nutrition comes in. They’ve created 3 ways to get your daily 500mg dose of Urolithin A in their product called Mitopure. They’ve got a delicious vanilla protein powder that combines muscle building protein with the cellular energy of Mitopure. They have a berry powder that easily mixes into smoothies or just about any drink. And finally soft gels for travel or you can use them everyday if you prefer. Personally, I love the starter pack that lets you try all three forms and see which one you like the most. Mitopure is the first product to offer a precise dose of Urolithin A to upgrade mitochondria function, increase cellular energy and improve muscle strength and endurance. Right now, Timeline is offering 10% off your first order of Mitopure. Go to timelinenutrition.com/WELLNESSMAMA and use code WELLNESSMAMA to get 10% off your order.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *